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Passenger sues BA for being ‘squashed next to obese man’



  Stephen Prosser

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Wales News Service

Picture caption

Stephen Prosser claims for damages and loss of income

A man is suing British Airways after being "crushed" near an obese passenger on a 1

3-hour flight.

Stephen Huw Prosser, 51, of Penygraig, Tonypandy, who is 5 feet 3 inches, said he suffered a pelvic injury and neck nerves during his trip from Bangkok to London in January 2016.

He said the passenger "reminded him of the late rugby player Jonah Lomu", heard the Pontypridd County Court

. He is claiming damages and loss of earnings, which BA is resisting.

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Getty Images

Picture caption

Prosser said that the passenger reminded him of Jonah Lomu (pictured)

Mr. Prosser, director of a civil engineer company, was returning home from a holiday in Thailand on January 10, 2016.

He was sitting by the window when a "huge man" sat next to him before the take off.

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"In my opinion it was obese as well as tall, I would estimate it to be six feet tall and more than 22 stones," said Prosser.

"He had to squeeze him physically between the armrests, his buttocks bulged on my side and the rest of his mass was overturned

" The weight of the mass of this man pushed my spine painfully , unnatural and crooked position while trying to stay upright. "

Mr. Prosser complained to the crew but was told that there was no alternative available as the flight was full.

He stayed in his place for the rest of the journey but was in "constant pain."

When asked if he complained to the passenger, Mr. Prosser replied: "I did not want to enter into a confrontation with him."

In the weeks that followed, he claimed that he remained in constant pain, his position was "distorted" and he suffered from spasms.

As a consequence of this, he said, he was also forced to limit his working hours for three months and was unable to continue his hobby of mountain-biking and motorcycling.

BA's customer service manager on the flight, Chris McLindon, said that "very rarely, if ever" has faced such a complaint.

He added: "The passenger was tall and wide but certainly not obese. It did not overfill the armrest or the seat borders.

"I walked regularly along the corridor and Mr. Prosser was not sitting in an unnatural position for a cheap place.

" When Mr. Prosser left the plane, I saw you walking along the jetty in a perfectly normal way and showed no signs of injury. "

He added that British Airways does not have a policy in which passengers have to give their size or weight when booking tickets, yet somewhat proactive – the passengers, who know they will fight to adapt to a place, they will buy two.

The case continues.


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